Tom Pope likes scoring against Cheltenham. He followed up his hat-trick in 2013 with two more goals on Saturday as Vale finally got a home win.
Manager Neil Aspin made two changes from the game against Grimsby Town bringing in Tom Anderson and David Worrall.
Vale made the stronger start and a good cross from youngster James Gibbons allowed Pope to head home on 26 minutes. The Valiants almost made it two ten minutes later but Harness’ effort went just wide. Minutes later, Pope missed an even better opportunity to double Vale’s score but he missed from close range. So Vale went into the break a goal up but arguably it should have been more.
Early in the second-half Roos made a good save and then Nathan Smith had a chance at the other end. But it was another poor start to a second-half as Vale struggled to win control early on.
However, moments after the arrival of Tyrone Barnett as substitute, midfielder Ben Whitfield scored his second screamer of his Vale career to give Vale breathing room. The goal came on the hour mark. With ten minutes left, Pope wrapped things up by getting his second from an acute angle.
One late blot on the copybook was a late consolation from Cheltenham to deny Vale a cleansheet.
Vale: Roos, Gibbons, Denton (Middleton), Smith, Anderson, Gunning, Pugh, Worrall, Whitfield (Turner), Harness (Barnett), Pope
Subs: Boot, Kay, Davis, Tonge